A couple of weeks ago, while shopping, I saw an old man wearing one of those baseball caps declaring him to be a World War II combat veteran. I pointed him out to my Cub and told her that the man had been part of one of those parts of history that Baba likes to study. We then walked over and politely introduced ourselves, and I asked where and when he'd served.
Turned out he was a B-24 crewman who had served in Italy, and he mentioned that he would be attending the last reunion of the unit soon: the last because so few of them remain. I did my best not to do the drooling fanboy gush (for me, as a gamer, the war is a diversion and a source of entertainment. For him, it was real life) and wished him a safe trip, along with my best regards to his old comrades in arms.
I forgot to ask his name and the name of his unit.
Tonight I drink two toasts: one for the poor bastards who had to live through hell, and a second for those who never made it home. (On all sides. Call me ecumenical, but the other guy is also a dutiful patriot thrown into harm's way, and I don't have to like someone's politics or agree with what their side does to recognize that getting shot at is no damn fun.)